It’s back to knitting again this week at handmadebysoo-towers and I’m getting to grips with Ailbe’s jumper. He tried it on for the first time today and was very curious to see what on earth it was that Mummy was making for him. There’s a little way to go yet adjusting the size until it fits perfectly. Ailbe has a very long settery body which needs to be kept warm. But when I pulled the polo neck over his head he smiled with pride as if to say ‘just my colour’! I can’t wait to see him in the finished item. He’ll cut quite a dash, I’m sure. Sorry – no sneaky peaks until then. Instead here’s a photo of the boy himself, sans jumper. Meanwhile I’m just popping over now to Planet Penny for more Friday smiles.
My happy crafty moment came this week as I was watching The Great British Sewing Bee and spotted contestant Lorna making good old-fashioned tailor tacks. So glad I’m not the only one still using them! Can’t wait to see what’s made everyone else smile this week over at Planet Penny.
People often ask me when I first started knitting. The answer is that I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t knit. But I can remember learning. It was my Mum who taught me. Mum knitted all the family’s jumpers and cardigans and was never without her needles and wool whenever she got a moment to sit down. I was fascinated by the colour and the patterns of her work and asked her to show me how to knit. I was around seven years old. So that afternoon, just as she had taught me to read, my Mum taught me another life skill that I have continued to enjoy from that moment on. It was a revelation. You could really achieve that much just with two basic stitches? And when you got to the end of the row – no big mystery! Just turn around and start knitting again. Later, Mum taught me to sew, from replacing buttons to full blown dressmaking. By the time I went to secondary school I was making all my own clothes, so, thanks to Mum, I could choose to study ancient Greek at school instead of taking domestic science. The last project we worked on together was my wedding dress. My happy Friday moment came today, unexpectedly, when I was looking through my fabric stash and found a remnant of the cream satin we used. The dress itself is safely packed away in the loft along with my grandmother’s veil, which Mum and I also both wore on our wedding days. The feel of the fabric transports me back to the counter of Dickins and Jones in Regent Street, where we finally tracked down the fabric we wanted. We were both so happy and so relieved. The dress turned out even better than either of us could have imagined. Thanks, Mum, for all those happy memories. x
My Friday smile comes this week at the thought of a little bit of me time at the end of a busy week and a sewing project I’ve been mulling over for a while. I just need to choose which cotton colour to use! …
Yet another week has simply flown by and we are almost into February already. My days are very busy, planning lessons and teaching, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My Friday smile this week came as I reflected on the week gone by, the knitting project I have finally finished and the next piece of sewing I am itching to start and my thoughts turned to my little knitting group. On Tuesday evenings everything stops for just an hour and a half and my ‘knitting ladies’ arrive. I started the Fenton Knitting Group soon after we relocated to Lincolnshire. We are only a very small band at present but hope to grow as the word gets round. We are not all knitters, but all needle crafters are welcome and what a laugh we have. My poor, long suffering husband can hear us from his ‘office’ and is convinced we are fuelled by something stronger than tea and cake. But no, it is simply the pleasure of sharing our ups and downs, not always craft-related, with like-minded people. I make the cakes, though I am most definitely not the best baker and certainly not very good at decorating them, but years of whipping up sponges to feed hungry children coming home from school means that I can manage a Victoria sandwich. Occasionally I become a little more adventurous and bake a Black Forest Gateau and this week it was my personal favourite, Flapplejacks.
Thank you for your company, ladies and Happy Friday!
With the temperatures, apparently, playing see-saws here, we celebrate every moment of sunshine. It was bitterly cold and frosty outside this morning, but our little cat, DeeDee, managed to find herself a sunbeam to snooze in. Here she is in her trade mark ‘meatloaf’ position, fluffing out her furry feathers on the hall sofa to capture every ray as she contemplates her long and happy life and no doubt wonders how soon it will be before she can begin to pester us for her next meal. DeeDee came to live with us seventeen years ago as a six-week old kitten. We have photos of her with the children when they were very young and some of her being held by my husband before his hair faded from brown to grey. She is very much a part of our family and our home. She has been through two house moves, has lived happily with children, who became teenagers, other cats and dogs and even took in her stride the recent arrival of a fully grown Irish red and white setter who is not always entirely sure where all of his paws are at any given moment. She is sitting beside me now as I type, purring away happily, but with that inscrutable face which always makes us think she may actually be plotting our overthrow. As one of my students reminded me this week: The Egyptians worshipped cats as gods; cats have never forgotten this!
Wishing you many, many more happy Fridays with us, DeeDee.
Love from Mummy x
I think it’s about time I had my (second, but who’s counting) lunch – DeeDee x
Since our big move northwards to Lincolnshire from Kent we’ve been gradually adjusting to a new way of life. The house needs lots of work, but is beginning to feel like home, particularly as we had lots of space for the children and their partners to come home for Christmas. I always dread the post-Christmas blues and that awful empty-nest feeling when everyone has left and the decorations have to come down. But this year is different. On 30 November we brought home Ailbe, our rescue Irish red and white Setter. He was skinny and shy, with a poorly leg, but how he has blossomed already.
On twelfth night, with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye I was busy unwinding the fairy lights from the stairs, thinking back on all the laughs we had over the Christmas holidays and wondering when next we would all be together again, when I looked down into the hall and saw this gorgeous face ‘smiling’ up at me.
With Ailbe, every day is a happy day. I just need to teach him to respect my knitting!